I recently made a pair of trousers from a self drafted pattern. The wide leg style was inspired by the Oxford Bags I saw at the Tommy Nutter exhibition a while ago. While some parts are not perfect (the side seams need moving forward a fraction) I’m rather pleased with them. I’m most pleased that I managed to work out how to construct turn ups.

Turn ups aren’t really turned up, rather they are folded and stitched in a way that looks like they are turned up

So, to add turn ups to a pattern you need a pretty simple formula. It’s worth remembering that you’ll need to work out the exact length you want your finished trousers to be as there’s no room for tweaking later on.

If, like me, you’re not that confident with numbers, this diagram and resulting formula might help.

X – Y = Z

You’ll need to use these measurements to work out the entire trouser leg length as well. Eg. Z + (turn up measurement x 2) + underlap measurement  [same as overlap measurement on diagram]= overall, unhemmed leg length. Chalk lining the folds on both sides of the fabric will make pressing them easier and more accurate.

When it comes to hemming, pull down the overlap a bit and stitch in the fold.

I copied a finishing technique from some H&M trousers I own using bias binding to finish the waistband facing rather than turning under to stitch in the ditch (I don’t know why but I always have a problem with getting that technique neat enough for my liking), it also looks quite pretty in the contrasting colour.

Photographs by Andrew Womack